ISRAEL The education minister is banning groups that call Israel an “apartheid state” from lecturing at schools—targeting the country’s leading human rights group B’Tselem after it began describing both Israel and its control of the Palestinian territories as a single “apartheid” system. The term, long seen as taboo, is vehemently rejected by leaders and many Israelis.
SAUDI ARABIA For years one of the world’s most prolific executioners, the kingdom dramatically reduced the number of people put to death last year, following changes halting executions for non-violent drug-related crimes. It recorded 27 executions in 2020, compared to an all-time high of 184 the year before. It ordered an end to the death penalty for crimes committed by minors as well as flogging.